on CMLL, lists, recording streams and the general state of things

This is a either brilliant or dumb stuff no one cares about that illustrates why you need someone to stop you from posting things late at night. I will probably delete this in the morning. I’ve likely had too much caffeine. I will definitely delete this in the morning.

Three seemingly separate conversations combined to make me really want to find out if it’s possible to Rage Quit the Internet in general Monday. By a fantastic stroke of luck, I was given the choice of plans to complete disassociate from the internet for about 8 hours to do other stuff. I did, it was a great choice for me. I don’t quite have the white hot anger any more, and I’m reminded this time of year causes me to be on edge for small reasons, but I find I need to get these things out of my mind before I can move onto other thoughts. I don’t think anything’s coming of this, my thinking seems to be on radically different lines on these things and I don’t feel I do a great job of getting my points across, but I’m compelled to try anyway.

ITEM 1: CMLL is running Titan/Cavernario, one of the most exciting matches it has to offer, this Saturday. The match might be recorded, but any recording is unlikely to air anywhere – the only chance you’re going to see this match is if you are in attendance in Arena Coliseo on Saturday night. I will not be in attendance on Saturday night – I’d love to be, but I’m not going to be able to make it to Mexico City this Saturday. Instead, I’ve offered to pay 9 times (1) the most expensive ticket simply to see the match on video. NINE TIMES. That’s crazy and it’s unlikely I’ll be paying the money.

I’m not the only person who would like to see this match, but this got brought up to Alexis Salazar, because the young CMLL photographer is the only CMLL employee (2) who will go on Twitter and answer questions about the product to anyone (3). He argued that the Saturday shows have been really good, and lucha libre is best enjoyed live. Most importantly: to Alexis, the more lucha there is on TV, the less people are willing to actually go to lucha libre.

Alexis is not alone in CMLL with those viewpoints, and they see making CMLL more available as a determent to their business. CMLL will take money for whatever TV companies want to take from them, but there does seem to be a sentiment that if they were off TV – and if AAA and if WWE and any other wrestling were off TV at the same time – that fans would have an unsatisfied urge for lucha libre and start buying more tickets to live events. TV – or any access outside of a live event – is a detriment.

ITEM 2: Fighting Spirit Magazine, a publication based in the UK, had a list of the 50 best wrestlers in the world right now. Voices of Wrestling has a thread with it. (5) There, and elsewhere, people weren’t happy with the placement of the lucha libre guys – Rush, Hechicero and Cavernario made the list, but they would’ve assuredly had them higher and it’s hard to that other people weren’t included.

Meanwhile, I looked at that list and thought HOLY SMOKES THREE LUCHA GUYS ACTUALLY MADE IT and high fived an invisible friend. I’ve been writing about lucha libre for an unhealthy amount of time and three lucha guys in the top fifty of any for sale list of wrestlers shows a heightened appreciation of lucha libre than I’m accustomed to seeing. (5b) The FSM list is a decedent of Powerslam’s own list, and they wouldn’t even consider Mexico. It’s not like there’s any great connection between Mexico and UK or the European wrestling scene in general (6) to require that sort of respect. It’s a lot more respectful than the PWI list (7), it’s more open minded than most any list I’m used to seeing from a publication (8). Maybe this is just the thought process of a isolated minority who should be demanding better, but I have to take some level of joy from being inside the party instead of watching from outside the glass for once. (9) Progress is great, and I’m not talking about the wrestling promotion. (10)

ITEM 2.5: I’ve also been Twitter evesdropping on a lot of people working on their MOTY list. (11) Just like with the FSM list, I see people talking about various CMLL matches or wrestlers under consideration and it just makes me happy. Happy for those people being acknowledged, happy other people like things I like, that sort of happy.

Yet, it also occurs to me: CMLL didn’t run any live events in the Europe, where some of the FSM voters reside. CMLL didn’t really run any events in the US. I don’t see many Spanish speaking people having this awards conversations, it’s pretty much in English. These people didn’t get their appreciation for CMLL by attending live events. In most cases, they didn’t get it from the infernal CMLL TV shows either – no one much watches the out of sequence LATV show, few watch the Azteca or the 52MX shows, and a lot of the really fantastic matches didn’t air on TV anywhere. (12) They aired on the internet, once, where you had to be in front of your computer at that very moment to see the match, or you didn’t even see it.

Except, you can still see those matches now. Not because they’re one of the few matches CMLL uploads. Kinda because I engineered a way to record the matches and kinda because I made sure it got recorded every possible time. Didn’t work every time, but whether I was sitting in front of my computer, whether I was hanging out with friends, whether I was hundred of miles away, or whether I was thousands of miles away actually at the building (13), I was manically trying to make sure the matches were recording and quickly available. It didn’t always work, but I made it work a lot of the time. (14) And that’s what people are rewatching now.

Not trying to take credit which doesn’t belong to me. Cavernario’s on that list because Cavernario is awesome. I can post as many videos as I want of Hijo del Signo, Hijo del Signo ain’t ever making a best 50 list. Negro Casas and Rush would still exist as sliced up matches on Lucha Azteca, as retold stories of battles on Terra, even if I decided to spend the year learning Spanish instead of recording it. And it doesn’t happen if Terra doesn’t decide to air CMLL in the first place.

STILL: are people in magazines who don’t follow lucha voting up lucha candidates if I don’t upload those matches? Are people rewatching CMLL now, or is it just a vague memory that’s lost in the shuffle of plenty of things which are available? I feel like the work was worth something, and I had a postive effect somewhere along the lines, helping people I’m fan of get more fans. But my point here isn’t about me, because I’m an irrelevant anonymous figure in the long scope of things.

CMLL believes restricted access to it’s wrestlers, it’s matches, it’s shows, makes people more interested in CMLL. I subverted that, I’ve been breaking the law to increase acccess to CMLL’s wrestlers, CMLL’s matches and CMLL’s shows and there’s people far away from the walls of Arena Mexico who see are more interested in CMLL as a result. These ideas really can’t make sense at the same time – unless you want to write off any of the outside Mexico interest (15) as meaningless and irrelevant, which I dunno, maybe is fair. What does being in a UK magazine mean to a wrestling promotion? I’m guessing Hechicero might find it cool, but they’re not running a wrestling promotion for Hechicero’s sake. (16)

ITEM 3: Terra’s changed it’s video streaming method a couple of weeks ago. All the neat little shortcuts I figured out the last few years are a total loss. I’m basically learning a new language. It’s so frustrating. I’ve spent a lot of time the last few years on learning to recording illicit video feeds of lucha libre (17), so there was some stuff I was able to grasp, but then I belatedly find out the recording have been skipping for a couple weeks and I want to punch a wall. There’s probably people who know a lot more about this than I, but those people are (a) not going to help someone who’s illegally recording shows (18) or (b) doing something illegal themselves and would rather not talk about it.

I was up to the point where at least the recording would work fine even I wasn’t around. Now I’m back to needing to be around the computer or have some access to it (19) just to record shows of luchadors (who largely have no idea this is going on) and promotions (who seem to be happier if I didn’t do this.) Why am I doing this? I enjoy CMLL being seen, but if CMLL would rather not be seen (and so won’t do this work themselves), why should I be stressing even slightly about it?

This is not 1999 or whenever, where it would be very hard for CMLL to share videos of any content outside their TV show. They broadcast the Sunday Terra shows and the En Busca de un Idolo shows the same exact way they do the Informa shows. Those Informa are always posted on their YouTube channels. Those matches are not. (19B) The Tuesday lightning match which won’t air on TV is posted to their YouTube channel (20). The best matches CMLL had to offer this year were cut down to 1 minute highlight packages. CMLL’s not being held back, this is a choice they’re making.

It’s not the choice I would make, but this shouldn’t be about me. They want scarity to increase demand, maybe it’s better to give it them. Maybe some grand gesture like removing as much CMLL video from the internet will help them increase fans and help everyone. (21) Maybe not putting up shows on YouTube will get people more interested in the product (22).

The other way – where wrestlers are shown to be in great matches and become stars people want to pay to see – is the way I know, but I’ve never run a wrestling company and I don’t know everything. I know very little, I’m reminded of that often.

This is sounding much more dramatic than it needs to be. I’m probably going to keep recording shows and putting them up because change is hard and I don’t like letting people down, even people who have no idea I’m doing anything and never asked for it in the first place (23). But – and this a very subtle point for 3AM in the morning – I hate stupid things and everything about this is a stupid thing. Everyone about this is dumb. There are so many things that aren’t done how they should be – in lucha libre, in the world, it’s still 3AM – because people make it harder on themselves. CMLL’s making it harder by not finding a way to make money off things people want, and I’m making it harder by helping people who do not want help. One of us has to break, and CMLL just about broke me Monday.


(1) they’re charging 168MX for those Saturday front row tickets now! The whole gimmick was supposed to be cheap seats for Saturday shows, 20-40 pesos! If I real journalist, which I clearly am not, I’d be investigating what happened here because plans have radically changed for Saturday’s shows – it seems like someone had a big idea, and someone else put their foot down and said no, and that’s as depressing as it gets for a company so berift of big ideas like CMLL.

(2) Someone unnamed will occasionally answer questions on Facebook; I’m assuming it’s Miguel Reducino.

(3) and I always kind of feel bad about this, because he’s primarly the photographer and the people who are really making these decisions are probably levels above him – and if he’s progressive enough to be talking about his company on Twitter, then he’s the least problematic person there who’s being deal with all the complaints about the situation. It’s not a equitable situation.

(4) there’s a “putting lucha libre on TV in the late 80s/early 90s cost many people their jobs” vs “current over-saturation” vs “quality of CMLL’s TV” discussion I could rehash here for the millionth time, but we’re going to bypass it – except to note that if you are person who watches CMLL on TV only, you have absolutely no idea Titan/Cavernario happened. And very limited knowledge of any En Busca de un Idolo tournament occurred. And we’re getting to that one in a bit.

(5) an internet thread about a list devolved into total worthlessness, and then miraculously became interesting and relevant again. The odds of that happening are roughly 10000:1.

(5B) I wasn’t involved in this list, but someone who was asked me if there’s any AAA guys who should be included. I believe my exact words were “Pentagon Jr. needs to be on the list, and you all are going to feel dumb next year if he’s not.” Pentagon Jr. did not make the list, you all are going to feel dumb, and then he’s going to be higher than he would’ve been otherwise because psychology works that way. But, just generally, y’all need to give AAA more respect too. They drive me insane, more than you know, but the guy running cmllblog.com thinks AAA they have pretty good professional wrestlers who have pretty good professional wrestling matches. Just for the sake of all these polls and awards, I’m disappointed that Super Fly/Aerostar and other matches from GdT won’t get any talk for 2014 Year End Awards, much less the nifty stuff Lucha Underground taped months ago which won’t air until next month. I’m sure year end awards are the least of their concerns and rightly so, but no one outside is going to truly be able to understand out how good of AAA year 2014 was until maybe February 2015.

(6) in a strange way, they’re kind of rivals for attention behind WWE, “Japan”, and “US Indies”

(7) where, despite the best efforts of many, any lucha libre inclusion feels more like tokenism.

(8) not a website, but someone doing it for money

(9) working incredibly inside at this point

(10) though I’m sure they’re cool too, this is just a line I think is hilarious but any editor would’ve made me take out and tell me to go to bed

(11) which reminds me: I love you, “people who were filling up my timeline Monday afternoon complaining about the VOW list”, but you were incredibly out to lunch. You missed the point, you missed the game, you missed the set, everyone’s packed up their tennis rackets and gone home and you’re still looking the wrong way. The exclusivity isn’t elitist, the exclusivity is the promotion. The list exists as pretense to promote people who care enough about wrestling to be writing about it a lot, or podcast about it a lot, or however else they share their love of wrestling. The top 10 is the reason for the party, but the party exists to connect people who like content about wrestling with people who are producing content about wrestling. Instead of doing a editors list (done plenty) or just a straight poll (done plenty), VOW ingeniously turned this into something that serves a purpose beyond just being a list. They’re expending whatever credibility they have and this list have not on themselves, but towards people who spend the year doing stuff you already enjoy or you might enjoy. This is a kind idea, and they should be lauded for it.

(12) They never aired the En Busca de un Idolo tournament. THEY NEVER AIRED THE EN BUSCA DE UN IDOLO TOURNAMENT ON TV. People outside the promotion said it was the best thing CMLL did. People inside the promotion said it was the best thing they did. You had to be there to see it, or you had be around Terra at just the right time to know to see it. Maybe 50 people did, and that may be a vast overestimation based on Twitter traffic. I had verified numbers that CMLL Radio broadcasts would usually do around 25 streams max at once. The audience for these things, as currently promoted, is not vast.

(13) proudest insane achievement of the year: While having an after show dinner around 2AM, I told JMG I would have the Anniversary show up by 5 AM that Saturday, I think he thought I was being silly, I had that show up by 520AM and would’ve done it quicker if there was more than one waitress in that place.

(14) we’re not even going into recording and uploading of the actual TV shows – with a lot of help from friends/enablers – which require slightly less dogged attention but nearly as much work.

(15) I’d be willing to wager there’s at least some people in Mexico who’ve read this blog or seen the videos and it got them interested in going to a CMLL event – the country stats say si – but someone taking the other position could say more people got their fill from the videos and decided not to go.

(16) Rush would kick the magazine into the crowd and explain he does not respect the printed medium.

(17) no one remarking on me going from “very rare IWRG” to “both IWRG shows every week” indicates no one really pays attention or is interested in this stuff outside of me

(18) the vast majority of which will never be shown or used in any meaningful way after it airs, so I’m only really dumpster diving, and that’s the justification I use to sleep at night.

(19) which is what other people who help out have to put up with constantly – if I don’t like it, I feel not great about other people doing it on my behalf on a weekly basis

(19B) I forget about this now, but Terra actally posted the first few shows complete on their website for ondemand viewing. And then that stopped, because obviously CMLL said no.

(20) and only after repeated requests from the likes of us for them to do that

(21) I’m probably not going to delete my channel because I’m afriad you’ll murder me in my sleep!

(22) Lucha Underground and their takedown notices believe so

(23) or are Brazilian and were whining about the playlists being by week instead of by show, because that was kind of hilarious

10 thoughts to “on CMLL, lists, recording streams and the general state of things”

  1. I got an android app with a ton of tv channels and found out there are several 24/7 wrestling channels… there’s even a Galli Lucha TV one! And there’s a “Masked Republic AAA” channel as well, who knows, maybe someone can go and convince cmll to get the Saturdays shows for that outlet… and ask them for enough footage to do a 24(7 feed to compete with network and wold :p

  2. I just wanted to say, as many others will, that the work you do means more than I can express. I have been a wrestling fan 20 years, I grew up with US wrestling, their shows in high quality with easy access each week. But I yearned for better wrestling and found japan. Getting into tape trading and forums, waiting weeks for VHS grainy footage being delivered, then the internet opened a new world. Still shows were scarce, but more accessible. In 2011 your videos gave me a chance to watch cmll, I fell in love with it and it soon became the only wrestling I have watched since. It is as I always wanted wrestling to be. Never has a promotion had me more in love, and hate it at the same time. I live in the UK, support a family on a modest income, I’m never getting to arena mexico, if I ever did, it would be one time only. However after buying countless PPV’s over the years, I’d gladly pay for cmll’s big shows and a subscription to see them weekly. There’s no way I would do that if I never got to see them on a computer screen, I simply do not understand their logic, I know they care very little about how countries like the UK want to see their product, because it’s a small demographic, but collectively, they could make good money if they wanted, isn’t that good for business? If cmll truly care about live attendance, they could stop throwing together Tuesday cards, if I lived in mexico, seeing cmll on tv regular would make me want to attend it live as many times as humanly possible.
    Overall I wanted to say thank you, this must be an ungodly amount of work. Cmll has become a huge part of my life, thanks to you, I check your blog about every ten minutes lol, and every Tuesday I relax and watch the amazing videos you give to us, and it brings me a lot of joy. I collect masks, research older info about past luchadors, all because of you, it would be heart breaking if it went away, your only human, but thank you for doing what you do, and to those that help you.

  3. I’m going to heap on the praise too. I talk to ohtani’s jacket now and again and one thing he stressed early on in the process of me getting into lucha (and really I’ve only been watching for a year, maybe seriously for less than a year) is that for most of what we have available, you can’t watch it on a weekly basis. There are just too many gaps and the booking doesn’t always foster it well, etc.

    And that’s kind of what I do, whether it’s 2008, 2010, or 2014 CMLL I’m looking at. There is literally no way I could be doing what I’m doing (the value of which is wholly debatable, of course, but my enjoyment of it is very high) without you doing what you do, the little and the big.

    I say this having three iterations of the match finder up right now to help me plan out what to watch next. That’s not in the least an understatement. I know you didn’t post this looking for praise, but thank you anyway.

  4. i will be curious to see if Dave’s occassional interest/touting of CMLL has any effect on the Observer Awards.

    It really is midboggling, in hindsight, that Mistico won Wrestler of the Year.

  5. Scary thing is this CMLL rant could have probably gone a lot longer.

    @Odessasteps: Not sure what you mean about Mistico winning Wrestler of the Year as ‘mindboggling’. That was a pretty legit pick at that time.

  6. I just wanna say I appreciate your work and it’s helped get me a bunch of people into lucha. I’m pretty sure I got SenorLariato to watch more lucha this year than he has in his entire life

  7. Man Cubs, I feel you on this. You are doing a great service to lucha FANS, and even the luchadors themselves by putting their art out there for a wider audience to see. I think everyone that frequents the site knows how much you put into it, but without doing it themselves, it s hard to appreciate what a grind it is. And unlike tape traders a generation ago, you aren’t making any money for your efforts. Its a labor of love, and it can be more than frustrating when you aren’t loving it.

    With that said, no matter whom you have contact within the biz, and how friendly they may be, you are still an outsider – at best you may get respect for your work like Meltzer, and at worst you’re an idiot mark with a blog. Either way, people in the biz will always look at you as “how is he making us money” first. If CMLL or anyone else has an issue with you posting matches (aside from copyright issues), it isn’t a problem with YOU, its a problem with THEM.

  8. Too bad CMLL doesn’t give a shit about non-Mexican fans, they’re the most stubborn fed ever.

    That’s why I applaud AAA, hopefully the US projects work out for them.

  9. Fredo, i didnt mean his deserving was mindboggling. I meant that it was mindboggling that he was voted WOTY by the Observer readers, where things are usually dominated by US and Japan candidates.

    Was that before the merger with F4W and a large influx of new eligible voters? I cant recall at the moment.

Comments are closed.